A spokesperson for North Glasgow Trust said:
"The transfer of 7 Medical Oncology beds from Ward 41 at Glasgow Royal Infirmary to the Beatson Oncology Centre has formed part of the Trust's long term modernisation plans which were consulted on as part of the Acute Services Review.
"We are now considering accelerating this due to emerging pressures facing the Trust as a result of an impending series of significant changes in working and training regulations for frontline staff and the number of specialist medical staff available to cover medical oncology beds in two separate sites.
"The vast majority of medical oncology patients treated at GRI are either day case or outpatients and both these services will continue to be provided at the hospital.
"The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Royal Infirmary will also be unaffected at this stage.
"We will now be working with staff, our patients and the public to explore how we might accelerate this move to ensure that we continue to provide safe and effective patient care for the people of Greater Glasgow."
The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) is well established. Prior to 1999, this unit was housed in a department in the old block of the hospital that lacked sufficient space to deal with the number of patients being treated there.
The new unit was therefore opened in 1999 primarily to provide new facilities for the Bone Marrow Transplant service but also gave an opportunity to open a small number of dedicated medical oncology beds in GRI. Up till that point, medical oncology inpatients had been treated in a general medical ward.
Since the time of the opening of the unit, a new clinical model for specialist oncology services has been agreed for north and south Glasgow that proposes that all oncology inpatient beds for Glasgow should be contained in a single centre. This is the plan that we are currently working to in the development of Phase 11 of the Beatson Oncology Centre at Gartnavel.
The current considerations would see us accelerate this in north Glasgow with seven medical oncology beds being transferred to the Western Infirmary ahead of their scheduled transfer in late 2006.
For further information please contact Sandra Moir on 0141 201 4314 or e-mail [email protected]gow.scot.nhs.uk